Former national team boss Craig Brown has thrown his backing behind Alex McLeish for the Scotland job, saying the ex-Rangers manager is the clear choice to succeed Gordon Strachan.
Brown, who took charge of Scotland between 1993 and 2001, has insisted that the Scottish Football Association (SFA) should look to McLeish after first choice candidate Michael O’Neill turned down the role.
Speaking to the Daily Express, Brown described McLeish as ‘ideal’ for the vacancy, adding: “Seven wins out of 10 with Scotland is excceptional. He was very unlucky not to qualify for the Euros.
“He has great experience as a manager, winning two Championships with Rangers, and he now has even more experience. He sticks out to me like a sore thumb.”
McLeish, who was capped more than 70 times by Scotland, took charge of seven games over 11 months in 2007, winning seven and losing three before joining Birmingham City.
He led the Scots to a famous victory over France in Paris, but presided over a disappointing defeat to Georgia in Tbilisi as well as the controversial loss to Italy at Hampden.
Brown, who had spells managing Motherwell, Aberdeen and Clyde in Scotland as well as Preston North End, took charge of 70 Scotland games, losing just 20, and led the Tartan Army to Euro 96 and France 98.
And Brown feels that McLeish’s 77 international appearances will help him to understand what the players are feeling.
He continued: “[McLeish] won a trophy with Birmingham City before crossing the divide to go to Aston Villa. It’s not been so good since then but you can’t tell me his experience in Belgium and Egypt has not been beneficial.”
McLeish yesterday indicated that he was ready and willing to return to the national team set-up more than a decade after his last spell.